The Cleveland Cavaliers failed to keep up with the red-hot Brooklyn Nets, but Darius Garland wasn’t to blame for that.
The former fifth-overall pick was once again in human torch mode to try and keep his team in contention, exploding for 46 points, 3 rebounds, 8 assists, 5 three-pointers, and just 1 turnover on 14/20 from the floor.
Still, no other Cavalier was able to top the 20-point plateau, with fellow backcourt teammate Donovan Mitchell barely scoring 15.
Mitchell, however, was unfazed by Garland’s incredible performance.
Per the former Utah Jazz player, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to see him put up those kinds of numbers at this point, as he’s consistently proven that he can be this kind of scorer:
“That’s Darius Garland. I mean, that’s the Darius we all know. He’s shown on multiple nights he’s capable of having nights like this. I think he took that challenge of defending Kyrie and then also going out there and leading us. You look at the growth of him throughout the season. (…) He’s putting together really, really solid games, and he’s got explosions like tonight.”
— clevelanddotcom (@clevelanddotcom) December 27, 2022
It didn’t take long before the Cavs realized that they could successfully build their team around Garland, a player who entered the league with plenty of question marks after barely playing in college.
But so far, so good for the Vanderbilt product, as he continues to step up and get better every single year.
Right now, Garland is averaging 21.4 points, 7.8 assists, 1.3 steals, and 2.5 triples on 44/39/87 shooting splits for the up-and-coming Cavaliers.